29 November 2023 | Wednesday | News
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–2023 Gilead Asia Pacific Rainbow Grant Funding Will Support 40 Projects In 2024-2025 To Reduce HIV Stigma And Improve Equity Across Asia Pacific –
– Since 2018, The Gilead Asia Pacific Rainbow Grant Has Awarded Close To US$6 Million To 144 Community-Based Projects In The Region, Supporting 130 000 People To Be Screened, Tested, And Counselled For HIV –
– Impact Report Identifies Unique Needs In High, Middle And Low Income Settings And Highlights Challenges Faced By Key Populations In Accessing HIV Education And Services –
The Grant supports community-led responses to address HIV-related needs with a focus on tackling inequalities and diverse barriers in Asia Pacific to eliminate HIV as a public health threat. Projects supported by the Grant empower underserved communities to overcome obstacles to care and help people living with HIV (PLHIV) lead healthy and enriching lives.
This year, Gilead will be awarding more than US$1.5 million to 40 projects in Asia Pacific. Projects in the 2023 cycle will tackle HIV-related stigma through an integrated and people-centric approach that focuses on addressing HIV-related social determinants of health that impact at-risk populations; integrating mental wellness in HIV care and addressing stigma; and uplifting populations at risk of "being left behind".
In Singapore, one of the newly awarded grantees is The T Project, the nation's first and only provider of social service for the transgender community. To improve access to HIV testing and care service for this key population, funding will support the creation of a transgender people-specific sexual health guidebook, community outreach, and regular HIV testing and care services. Meanwhile in Chinese Mainland, grantee Shanghai Qing'Ai Health Promotion Center looks to explore art therapy as a way to enhance psychological support and treatment adherence for newly diagnosed PLHIV. Art pieces created by participants of the initiative will eventually be displayed at a public exhibition, with the aim to foster a greater understanding and inclusive environment for PLHIV.
Since the inception of the regional grant program in 2018, Gilead Sciences has awarded close to US$6 million in support of 144 community-led projects to address unmet HIV-related needs targeting 23 geographies. To mark the fifth anniversary milestone of the Grant, Gilead today also publishes an Impact Report capturing how funded projects have contributed to progress towards the Joint United Nations Program's 95-95-95 goals. This includes the support of over 130 000 people to get screened, tested, and counselled for HIV.
In a self-reported survey, grantees across the 2018 to 2021 cycles highlighted how funding from the Grant has supported their frontline work. This has catalyzed partnerships with more than 300 key stakeholders such as healthcare providers, governments, academics, and international organizations. By targeting a diverse and growing mix of key populations including young people, women, migrant populations, and transgender people, the Grant has also helped address challenges faced by groups disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in the Asia Pacific region.
Other key findings highlight the unique needs of communities across different geographies and income levels (as categorized by the World Health Organization):
"HIV is no longer a fatal disease, but stigma and discrimination still hinder the ability for people living with HIV to have health equity and lead quality, healthy lives. Through support from the Gilead Asia Pacific Rainbow Grant, we conducted a systematic review in 2019 to demonstrate how HIV criminalization and mandatory disclosure of HIV status in Taiwan was counterproductive to the national goal of HIV eradication," said Fletcher Chiu, Communications Director from Persons with HIV/AIDS Right Advocacy Association Taiwan (PRAATW). "This work has been crucial in the collective effort to overturn Article 21 and also helped establish Taiwan's first Undetectable = Untransmissible (U=U) Day in 2023. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Gilead as we work to expand HIV education and access to care in Taiwan."
"Our community partners are key to expanding access, improving HIV education, and combating stigma and discrimination that can deliver on our vision to ensure access to equitable care for all people living with HIV worldwide," said Janet Dorling, Senior Vice President, Intercontinental Region & Global Patient Solutions, Gilead Sciences. "This World AIDS Day, we reaffirm our commitment to empowering communities to unleash their full potential in helping end the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere."